Monday, 6 September 2010

Good Pictures Are A Joke

The thing about a ‘found’ photograph (or in this case, a ‘found’ strip of negatives) is, you can only guess at the intended meaning. And most of us, once in a while, would like to get away from the challenge and excitement of contemporary issues and seek our pictures in a more romantic world. But this picture’s a joke.
In Cowboy-and-Indian films, Indians listen to the ground to tell how far away the cowboys (on horseback) are: so far so good. But this Indian – a squaw - appears to be deaf, and the cowboys must have been nearer than she thought. They’ve ridden right over her; hence the plasters on her face. The plasters have a practical importance as well as a pictorial significance (she wouldn’t be an Indian without them), suggesting that it’s a good picture (whatever that means?). But I find so-called good pictures a joke. Disappointing pictures, they're what to aim for. They are the pictures to make. 

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